British & Irish Lions in Government talks to underwrite 'home tour' against South Africa
British & Irish Lions contemplating playing Test series against South Africa on home soil; Tour organisers need Westminster to underwrite any financial liability; South Africa has not yet launched its covid vaccination programme; Australia has offered to host series
Last Updated: 23/02/21 1:17pm
The British & Irish Lions have approached the Government about playing the South Africa series in the UK and Ireland.
The chances of a 'home tour' taking place have been given a considerable boost by the news that capacity crowds could be allowed in English stadiums by late June.
For that to happen, tour organisers would need Westminster to underwrite any financial liability, should crowd restrictions remain in place.
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The Lions are scheduled to play Japan in Edinburgh on June 26 before flying to Cape Town.
But with South Africa yet to launch its Covid vaccination program, playing Tests at Twickenham, Cardiff and Dublin in front of fans could be on the agenda.
The other options still being considered are to proceed with the tour in South Africa, most likely behind-closed-doors, or to move it to Australia, who have offered to host the series.
An official announcement is expected in March.
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